HELENA, Mont. — The list of Montana’s legislative candidates includes 18 native Americans, more than in each of the last two election cycles.
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports candidates said they were running so the Legislature was more representative of the state’s population and to seek improved access to health care, high speed internet and cellphone service on reservations.
The Montana Democratic Party says there were 14 Native candidates in 2014 and 13 in 2016. Three Native candidates have no opposition this year while one seat will go to one of two Native candidates.
The 2017 Legislature had nine Native lawmakers, or 6 percent of the 150 seats. The state is about 7.4 percent Native, which would equate to 11 seats.